3D Pipeline Process: Tips & Tricks

Often-times students ask me what the process is of creating art and getting it in-game. The plethora of tools available for artists to use these days means that there is really no one true answer to that question. Through research of my own and working closely with others, I’ve continually iterated and built on my own workflow and pipeline process to a point at which I’m happy with the results. Below I’ll be sharing with you a quick overview of the process that I use in creating art.

Concept Creation:

Whether you work in Zbrush or in Maya, the early block out stage is extremely important. At this stage in the game art-creation is all about working fast and agile to suss out the overall theme and tone of the character or art-piece.


Through time and continually building up your model you will eventually have a high resolution mesh you are happy with. This process can be time consuming and consists of continually adding-to and taking away from the design and concept of your project. Having good reference separates good art from great art at this stage.

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Ode to Photoshop

As students we rely on many programs that are supposed to help us conquer our everyday challenges as students, yet often times learning and mastering them is a challenge in itself. Yet with every failed attempt we learn, hopefully to create more and more interesting assets, artworks, designs. No other software taught me more about design, about creating and about learning itself than Adobe’s Photoshop.

Ode to Photoshop

Dear Photoshop,

It’s been ten years now since we ventured out on our journey together. Can you believe it? Ten years and none the wiser one might think, but you have taught me so, so, so many things. About design, about drawing, photography and life.

A decade. In game development years that is almost a lifetime (remember how game dev years are dog years?). The first version of you I encountered was 7.0 and looking back… I knew nothing. And even now I barely feel like I scratched the surface of the marvels you had to offer me. 

But what have you done?

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Game Art : A History

As a game artist, I’ve worked on many games in many genre’s over the last 20 years. I started with life drawing and portraits, and went onto Computer Aided Design (CAD) and technical drawing. Then I landed in the games industry in the earlier 90’s.

There have been staggering leaps in technology, especially for the game artists who produce the wonderful visuals, environments and characters that we have come to know and love. One area in particular is 2D art.

In 1994, I was creating textures for games on a Commodore Amiga, which was at the time, a very powerful 32bit computer. It had all of 8 megabytes of memory. That was a lot !!! The real win at the time was using an art program called Deluxe Paint created by Electronic Arts.
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